The Lotus Eaters is the third installment of the Legio del Cid series by Mr Kratman. The book picks up after the Legion has successfully pacified Pashtia and returned to Balboa. Its takes place mainly in Balboa as the Legion prepares for their inevitable showdown with the corrupt rump regime protected by the Tauran Union in their enclave near the Balboan Transitway.
This is an obvious stepping stone book that fleshes out the story and provides more background rather than really advancing the plot line of the series. If I were a cynic I would say that this appears to be a mash up of all the mini-plots Mr. Kratman put together as he developed the main story line. I do not know that to be the case however. This is almost like the most recent Honor Harrington book in that it essentially goes nowhere in an entertaining manner.
All that being said, I like this book. I particularly like the development of the glider and submarine as well as finding the discussion of the way in which the Isla Real is fortified to be not only interesting, informative as well. This may not be the book that I wanted to read, but it is excellent nonetheless. All in all, another great read from Mr. Kratman. My only complaint is not with this book but rather with the wait between this book and the next one. This book ends with a teaser that leaves the reader wanting to know more. The next volume is titled Come and Take Them and will be released in November and it’s about damn time. eARC’s should be available on Baen a few month’s before that.
I was approached by Mr Thompkins via email about reviewing his novel The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines. This is a self-published work and one I will not be able to read for at least a month because of the pile of other books I have recently gotten from publishers. I plan on reading this book and writing up a review on it but in the meantime in the interests of encouraging other people to write and giving them a chance to publicize their own work I offered to let him post a promotional piece here at Battles & Book Reviews. Below is the text he sent me to promote his book. Notice that it is available for free on Smashwords.
The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines-Book Cover
In 1992 Somalia was on the brink of humanitarian disaster. Warring tribes had sparked a violent civil war following the collapse of the Barre government in 1991. The distribution of food and resources was heavily disrupted, leaving the people of Southern Somalia to starve; 300,000 would die in the famine. As the death-toll rose and the intensity of the conflict increased, a team of United Nations Peacekeepers, led by the United States, entered Somalia with the aim of creating a protected environment for humanitarian operations.
The mission was known as Operation Restore Hope.
Eddie Clay served as a US Marine peacekeeper during Operation Restore Hope. The Mogadishu Diaries: Bloodlines is based on his personal experiences in Somalia between 9 December 1992 and 21 March 1993. Clay recounts the pursuit of a beloved and revered warlord, the disarming of an entire community – and its unexpected consequences – and reveals how he fell in love with a beautiful Somali interpreter named Ayan. He explains the challenges, the fears and the crisis of â€˜conscience versus the Rules of Engagementâ€™ he shared with his fellow Marines, Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers during this notorious humanitarian mission.
I will say up front that I have read every book by Stephen King.Â He generally hits it out of the park but he has had some books that I just hated, Gerald’s GameÂ and The Dark Tower SeriesÂ come immediately to mind as duds. 11/22/63Â is not one of them.Â It is a great book that you won’t want to put down until the end.
Ostensibly, this is the story of a man who goes back in time to try and stop the assassination of JFK in Dealey Plaza.Â That is how it starts and for the first little bit you will think that is all it is about.Â Stopping Oswald ends up being peripheral to the story in the end, but that does not affect how great this book is.Â This is not your typical Stephen King horror book either.Â It has elements of Sc-Fi, adventure, and love story to it.Â I actually don’t think this book fits into any specific category other than being a Stephen King book.Â It has his signature vivid writing style and storyline that sucks you in.
If you liked other King works such as Roadwork or Shawshank Redemption, you will love 11/22/63. This is similar to those stories, a compelling plot with little horror but plenty of suspense and drama.
This improbable tale of brave rabbits is a classic and one of the best stories I have ever read.Â It first came out in the seventies and a movie adaptation was made in 1978 by the BBC.Â It is the tale of a group of rabbits who leave their home warren because of a premonition and the many adventures they have as they cross the English countryside in search of a new home and go through the struggles of establishing one on Watership Down.Â The story itself is outstanding but what makes it even cooler in my opinion is that all the places in the book actually exist.Â A Google Maps search fro Watership Down will take you to it and there are several pictures of places featured in the book that someone has uploaded.
One of the best parts of the book are the several asides to tell the stories of el-Ahrairah, a legendary rabbit who had many adventures.Â They are the rabbit equivalent of Greek Myths and just as entertaining in their own right.Â My personal favorite is the story of Rowsby Woof and the Fairy Wogdog.
Countdown: H Hour is the third installment in the Countdown series, hopefully there are plenty more still to come as this just built onto the already strong premise of the first two books.Â This book happens at the same time as the events in M Day but in the Phillipines as part of the Regiment conducts a completely separate mission to rescue a rich Phillipino businessman who has been kidnapped by a group of Moro terrorists from the Basilan region.Â The action is almost non-stop as the short battalion for the mission conducts operations in Somalia, Basilan, and around Manila in the course of the book.Â Adam, the Somali kidnapped in the first book, and the reason M-Day was founded, makes a small cameo appearance in the book.
The usual subtle and not-so-subtle political commentary is sprinkled throughout the book.Â Libs will hate that although I love it.Â I have about as much use for the Tranzis of the world as does Mr. Kratman.Â He includes the usual afterword designed to set the brains , if they have any, Tranzis of the world on fire.Â He also teases us with the title of the next book in the series, Criminal Enterprise, with no idea of release date.
The only complaint I have about this book as I have with most books is that I read it too fast.Â That is my fault though because I am a fast reader.Â At 624 pages it is not a small book.Â Tom Kratman has once again produced a fast paced, exciting narrative that also throws some food for thought into the mix.Â Another excellent work that I highly recommend to anyway into combat SF or combat fiction.